With a quick turn of the old fashioned paper calendar we have moved into February.  Suddenly everything appears to be festooned with red hearts.   I like to think of February and hearts as much more than a singular Hallmark moment.  While we are all encouraged to wear red throughout the month,  having good heart health means combining emotional well being with physical well being.

It is important for us to remind ourselves that we nurture our hearts emotionally through positive connection with others, through doing things that have meaning for others, by maintaining a focus on gratitude, by creating communities and schools that embrace positive social climates, by practicing mindfulness and being in the moment, by counting our blessings.  Good physical heart health is bolstered by mindful nutrition, regular exercise, proper sleep hygiene, and effective stress management practice.   We know that none of us maintain perfect routines but if we keep in mind what we are aiming for and what makes us feel better we are better positioned to have emotionally and physically healthy hearts.

With the focus all year on “Grief, Trauma and Loss” I want to remind everyone how important it is to stay centered at the core, in our collective hearts.  The presentation last week on” Helping Traumatized Children Learn” emphasized the critical aspect of “Whole School” and “Whole Child”.  Ed Jacoubs and Joel Restuccia presented valuable information to guide us in creating environments that nurture and prepare students for learning.  They will be returning in October for a second presentation.

On April 3rd YHC in collaboration with Helping Children Cope, The Cancer Support Community and Dana-Farber/South Shore Hospital will be hosting a full day conference on “Cancer in the Family:  Helping Schools Respond”.    The reality of life is that none of us are immune from grief, trauma and loss.  By being heart healthy at the core we can approach challenges with greater resilience.